Eleven months ago he was asked to play a new position for the first time in his life. He handled it flawlessly.
Then he was suddenly thrust into the Opening Day lineup and asked to be the everyday second baseman. He may have been the best defensive second baseman in the league.
Then he broke his back.
Then he was suspended.
And just like that, Freddy Galvis’s rookie season was over before July.
“Fast,” Galvis said when asked for one word that best captured 2012.
Galvis, now 23, is back in major league camp. He’s healthy and he’s competing for a bench job.
Galvis is also putting his lowest moment of 2012 behind him.
Less than two weeks after suffering a back injury, Galvis was suspended 50 games after testing positive for a PED, a metabolite of Clostebol.
Galvis served the suspension late last summer but didn’t speak about it when he was made available to reporters toward the end of the Phillies season.
He spoke a bit about it Sunday morning at Bright House Field.
“It was tough, man, Galvis said. “Sometimes you don’t do stuff and you pay for it. Like I said before, that’s life and you have to move on. Sometimes when you don’t do nothing and the blame you, that’s bad stuff but they have rules and you have to follow the rules. But that’s in the past right now. Right now I’m focused on 2013.”
Galvis is taking reps at shortstop, second base and third base this spring. He figures to get playing time at short, his natural position, when Jimmy Rollins leaves to play in the World Baseball Classic.
As for his back, Galvis say it's strong and healthy. He played three months of games in the Venezuelan Winter League.
He is doing regular, daily maintenance work to keep his back in shape.